At CentriKid, we pour into our camp staff as leaders for our camp program and for their avenues of service back home. We believe that you can never have too much leadership. Many folks ask for tips on where to begin or what to read next so we’ve compiled an essential camp leadership reading list.
These 12 books are a great foundation for a leader in any context with any degree of experience. As you read, you’ll discover the source of many phrases and concepts that make up the CentriKid Camps culture. Everything about camp is rooted in scripture, and these books have been great tools at sharpening our minds for leading at camp.
Pick up one or two of these and tell us what you think. Also, what other books would you recommend for our list?
Spring has arrived and love really is in the air! Two very important people to us here at CentriKid are getting married! We just wanted to take a moment to celebrate them today. Congrats Mary Carlisle and Laura Register!
It just so happens that they both met their fiancés while working at LifeWay! Soon-to-be married Mary Carlisle is engaged to John Wiley, a Camp Coordinator for Fuge Camps. Newly engaged Laura Register is engaged to Daniel Teague, one of our very own CentriKid Camp pastors.
First to tie the knot is Mary soon-to-be Wiley!
Mary and John met on a beautiful fall day in October. They were both working on Group Leader Information, for CentriKid and for Fuge. This 30+ page packet of information is no small task to write! Mary went to help out John, needless to say they were both a little overwhelmed. John and Mary encouraged each other through this project and the rest is history! After two “pre-date meetings” John asked her on their first date. John took Mary out for a fancy dinner at Bonefish Grill followed by a stroll downtown. From that night on their relationship has continued to grow and they are both very much in love! Mary and John are very different… but you know what they say, opposites attract! Mary comes from a smaller family and John comes from a big family. John is very detail oriented while Mary sees more of the big picture. John is great behind the wheel. Mary does not think of her self as a great driver! However, this wonderful couple are alike in the things that matter most; they both love the Lord and are ministry minded. The one thing that Mary loves most about John is that he is a man that seeks the Lord first and foremost! This happy couple is getting married at Rocket Town on April 13th! Congrats Mary and John Wiley!
The next to wed will be Laura Register and Daniel Teague on September 14th , 2013!
These two love birds first served together on the same CentriKid team in the summer of 2010. Something we say often here at CentriKid when talking about relationships is that “If it is meant to happen it will happen after camp!” After camp, their friendship continued to grow and they started dating a full year later. The story of their first date is a long one. Long story short, Daniel came up from Mississippi one Friday night to surprise Laura in Georgia while she was in college. Right before Laura and her friends were about to leave for dinner someone starts knocking on the door. Assuming it was their neighbor, Laura yelled for them to come in. It was not the neighbor… it was Daniel. They went out for Chick-Fil-A banana pudding milkshakes and shared a weekend of bookstores, waterfalls, and coffee shops. They have been together ever since! Daniel and Laura almost Teague are alike in a lot of ways– they both love serving, coffee, kids, baseball games, and sandwiches. Laura told me, “Those who know us would be surprised to learn that I’m the extrovert and he’s the introvert, but not surprised to know that he’s a much better runner than I am.” Laura’s favorite thing about Daniel really is his heart for the Lord and his heart for people. I cannot wait to see these two live happily ever after!
Every summer the CentriKid staff are led by their Directors and Assistant Directors. These guys and girls are ready to serve you at camp and make sure the week is great! Contact the Director or Assistant Director for your camp location with any questions or needs that you have prior to camp by finding their contact info on each Camp Location page.
There are three types of kids in your ministry– ones in your core group who grow up in church, ones who come occasionally and have some church background, and ones who may one day make it through your door, but have never before been exposed to the church.
Dr. Shane Garrison from Campbellsville University in Kentucky recently shared at our Vacation Bible School Preview events about how he himself fell into that last category as a child. He referred to this group of kids as “spiritual orphans”– those who grow up knowing nothing of the church and living with parents who do not know the Lord.
As I sat in the auditorium and listened to Dr. Garrison’s story of faith and redemption, I wept at the reminder that those “spiritual orphans” are the reason that we do ministry to begin with. It is critical in your children’s ministry to build relationships and disciple the kids who are already there. It is equally as critical to remember God’s call in Matthew 28:19 to go and make disciples. If we are not reaching the unchurched children around us, we are denying them an opportunity to hear the Gospel and to ultimately come to know the Lord.
Here are a few things to remember when reaching out unchurched children:
1. You have to go to them. On a rare occasion they will come to you, but for most, even if it’s only a few blocks down, your church feels miles away. Church is a foreign concept for these kids and they need your extended invitation.
2. You can’t expect them to understand your rules. These kids may not know that prayer means to be still and quiet or close your eyes. They may not understand the “culture” that we take for granted in the church. Be patient with them and help them to feel welcomed in your environment.
3. Make it fun for them, and don’t forget why they are there. You want kids to enjoy their time so that they want to come back, but don’t miss this opportunity to invest in their lives spiritually. It may take them time to piece spiritual truths together, but remember that you have an opportunity to show them love.
Check out more from Dr. Garrison’s message here.
Can you believe camp is only 3 months away! Our office is busy finalizing all of the details and getting ready for an Out of This World experience you won’t ever forget! While we aren’t quite ready to reveal all of the new and exciting stuff we have planned, we thought we’d take a moment on the blog today to pull back some of the curtain and give you a sneak peek of what’s ahead at CentriKid Camps!
We hope this gets you excited about what is ahead at CentriKid Camps this summer! Stay tuned to the blog as we will be pulling back the curtain even more and giving you more glimpses of all of the elements of camp.
One of the terms that we use frequently at CentriKid Camps is “debrief.” When I first heard someone at camp talk about a debrief, I immediately associated the word with interrogations, military operations, or national security. At camp, though, we use the word “debrief” with a slightly different meaning.
What is a CentriKid Debrief?
At CentriKid Camps, a debrief is a 2-3 minute conversation that our staff lead in order to connect games or activities to truths from God’s word.
Why Do We Debrief?
We love to have fun, but even more than that, we want to take advantage of every opportunity to connect with kids and share God’s truth. We know all kids are different. Some kids will “get it” in Bible study, and others (kinesthetic learners) will make a better connection after they’ve played a game or learned a skill that relates in some way to the Bible.
How do we Choose the Scripture?
Every debrief at camp is planned with a high degree of intentionality. We don’t simply flip open God’s word and try to relate our games to the first verse we see. Instead, we spend a lot of time figuring out how to make meaningful connections to our spiritual focus for the week. We strive to reinforce what kids have already learned in Bible study and set them up for what they will hear in worship.
Additional Tips for Debriefing Games
Debriefs can be a great way to meaningfully connect with kids. We invite you to come to Recreation or Track Times this summer to check out some of the debriefs we will share with campers.
Easter is such an important holiday in the church. The gospel message of salvation through Jesus is the one thing we want kids to walk away with, right? We know that many of you will be sharing the gospel message in this Easter season, and we hope you’ll take advantage of some great tools as you do!
We have a free download of our poster The Gospel: God’s Plan for Me. Print this out or display it on screen as you walk through the gospel story from creation to the cross and our response.It’s available for FREE right here on our CentriKid website!
Order some of our gospel booklets by the same title (The Gospel: God’s Plan for Me) from lifeway.com, or pick them up at your local LifeWay Store. These booklets follow the same outline, but offer a great one-on-one tool to use with kids as you walk them through the gospel story. The best part is that kids can keep these booklets, read them again at home, or share them with friends! This booklet is available in both HCSB and ESV, for $4.99 per pack of 10.
We recognize that repetition is so important in teaching kids! The great thing about using these tools is that you’ll see them both at CentriKid Camp this summer, where our trained staff will build on the foundation you’ve started with sharing the gospel message in your kids ministry. Let us know how you use these great tools during the Easter season!
Interview with Lance Howerton – Director of Lifeway Kids.
What are some tips you have on taking a kids event to the next level?
“Some of the most important things in taking a kids event to the next level
are to be creative, practice practice practice, and evaluate.”
In my brief time working in the CentriKid office, I have felt overwhelmingly blessed by being “behind the scenes.”
My experience in ministry has always been visible. It is humbling to be behind the scenes. I will not be placed on the front lines of a team this summer at camp. This summer I will be working in the office helping to serve our staff and making sure our teams have everything they need. This is such an important job in making camp run smoothly, but sometimes I begin to think about everything I will miss by not being on a team. When I begin to have these thoughts I am reminded of Colossians 3:23.
Colossians 3:23 says, “Whatever you do, do it enthusiastically, as something done for the Lord and not for men.”
We use Colossians 3:23 often in our work at CentriKid. It is a reminder that whatever we do, big or small, should be done heartily for the Lord. I get to wake up every day and work to create life changing experiences for thousands of children through CentriKid. I work for the sake of the gospel to be known. This verse is a reminder that even though I am behind the scenes, I am working for the Lord!
In 2013, not only will you be seeing a lot of fun new items in the CentriKid store, you’ll also be seeing an entire redesign to the Camp Store experience! We’ve dreamed big and we’ve heard from you guys, and here are a couple of the new improvements you’ll be seeing this summer:
1. We will be open more hours throughout the week to help you and your kids get in at your convenience! We will now even have the Camp Store open during check-in!
2. We’ve redesigned the layout of the Camp Store so that it’s easy to navigate, simple to get what you need, and easy to pay for it! We’ve also made the store a more interactive experience with small activities and even a contest for campers and adults to participate in!
3. We’re bringing back some of your favorite items in a new and improved fashion in addition to adding a few new ones! Check out some of our store items below!